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Ouanaminthe, North East Department,  Haiti

Ouanaminthe (Haitian: Wanament or Wanamèt; Spanish: Juana Méndez) is situated in the North-East department of Haiti, and is separated from the Dominican City of Dajabón by only the Massacre River. Ouanaminthe is one of the many rural communities in Haiti  suffering from poverty and a lack of access to basic resources and services, including clean  water, pest control, health care, agricultural knowledge and tools, and safe and clean cooking methods. Ouanaminthe has around 100,000 people including five surrounding communities of  Hout Maribaroux, Savane Longue, Acul des pins, Savane au Lait and Gens de Nanted.

DSC04808The wealth produced on the island is mostly accumulated in the capitals of each country: Port Au Prince and Santo Domingo. However, in the late 1980s, decades after the fall of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic and when the Duvaliers were out of power in Haiti, a dynamic between the northern border towns of Ouanaminthe (in Haiti) and Dajabón (in the Dominican Republic) emerged: on Mondays and Fridays Haitians would cross to buy agricultural products and on Saturdays, Dominicans would cross to buy cosmetics, used clothing and electronic devices. But it was in the 1990s, when the Organization of American States imposed an embargo on Haiti and Ouanaminthe became a terrestrial port for the import of gas and other oil derivatives, that the markets achieved their current economic significance, attracting Haitians from all over the country. Based on these commercial opportunities, Ouanaminthe has expanded dramatically, outgrowing its Dominican neighbor.

Today, every Monday and Friday thousands of people cross from Haiti and Dominican Republic to buy and sell products. Ouanaminthe in Haiti and Dajabón in the Dominican Republic are the most developed cities along the border, but similar border markets take place at the crossings of Anse Pitre – Pedernales and Mal Passe – Jimaní. Integrated in a global economic network, evidence of which is found in the products that are exchanged, the market fairs provide jobs and income as well as the main source of goods locally, with 97% of the population buying their supplies there.Source (Other Markets) 

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